What are Important SEO Ranking Factors?

Backlinks and anchor text are two of the most talked about search engine ranking factors. But what about the other important factors? We may not think about internal links, social mentions and local citations as much, but they all make up the pieces of a very big pie.

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More than anything, Google always seem to be pushing the idea of “quality content“. We previously discussed that here. Although this vague piece of advice won’t help on its own, it’s something to always keep at the back of your head. With that being said, writing “good” content alone certainly won’t skyrocket your website to the top positions. Although good content is subjective, it is helpful to enrich your content with relevant and engaging multimedia (pictures, movies, slideshows, downloads, etc.)

If you haven’t taken a look at 2013’s local search ranking factors, you can do so here. Citations, and more specifically, local citations are being used in ranking websites. Since Google is pulling information based on the authority of your citations, it makes sense to work on these continuously. Just think about it like link building but without the links. Instead, you’re building out mentions of your business’ contact information on authoritative sites through maps, listings, directories and reviews sites.

Social signals are another mysterious factor of search engine rankings. Although Google vehemently claims that Google+1’s won’t make a website rank better, it’s not hard to see that sites that do rank better, usually have more social standing. Correlation is not causation but there is something to getting a high number of Likes, shares, Tweets, +1’s, comments.

Let’s face it. Google will always give preference to websites who take the time to optimize their content for mobile search. Whether it’s having a well optimized-mobile site or responsive design, Google is siding with searchers on this issue. Even if the desktop version of your site is well-optimized, it doesn’t mean that it’s best suited on a smaller screen. In fact, it might be too slow loading or small when viewed on a smartphone. We expect this factor to be increasingly important in Google’s eyes.

The underdogs of ranking factors can’t just be pushed aside. Crafting an effective search marketing campaigns requires a delicate balance of many factors. Let us know which ones you think are most important or factors that will be more crucial in the near future.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

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